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Comment going down the memory hole.... Answered

As has been reported by other users, I occasionally end up posting "invisible" comments, either at the top level, or as replies to someone else.  These comments are visible to me when I view the forum topic, Question, or Instructable (and the comment count includes them in that view!).  However, the forum browsing page doesn't show them (neither as "last post" nor in the count), and they are not visible to any other users.

My most recent example is in BIGHAIRYDUDE's bug report. I posted one comment at 4:18 pm (CAGESVXGGMMFD6M), and another at 5:08 pm (CTRYNTKGGMMFDBI). Those strings are the commentId values, which I can see on the page when I do "view source"! I constructed the URLs by hand. If I use those links in another session where I'm not logged in, they don't work. But if I log in there (on Safari, so there's no chance of cookie or cache confusion), then my comments appear!

This behaviour is unpredictable. It seems to happen once or twice a week. When it does, the particular forum topic or whatever is affected permanently (i.e., any comment I try to post is invisible), but other topics are not affected at all. I know that's going to make it hard to isolate and fix, but I'm hoping that the IDs might be of some help...



Yet another lost comment. This one a reply to a bug report, ironically on the subject of missing comments and replies.


This bug has been around for at least two years. Check out a recent comment to a more than two year old post from PhilB. Note especially my reply to that comment, with the screen capture shown below.

I wrote the comment pictured on 22 October 2008! I have a completely new laptop since then! It is inconceivable that I have some magic local copy of that comment on my machine. Therefore, it must be sitting in the Instructables database somewhere, in such a way that when I am logged in, the comment is loaded and displayed for me, but it is not loaded, and not displayed, for anyone else.

In addition to the screen capture below, here is the actual HTML source of the page, as I am viewing it now, for that specific comment (I've added numerous carriage returns to improve the formatting)

Oct 22, 2008. 3:10 PMkelseymh
Thank you for the post. Although you don't specific solicit dialogue, that's kind of implicit in the word "forum," isn't it?

I felt the same way about machine tools when I was an undergraduate, and even when I was a grad student. It wasn't until my first post-doc position (at UBC, helping to build the BaBar drift chamber that I was introduced to the amazing things you can make with metal. Working with real professional engineers, and being allowed to design and fabricate my own jigs and small projects, was a great joy, and still is.

You mention some of the "silly" projects posted here on Instructables. One of the great strengths of this community, I think, is how open it is. Real professionals, and gifted, long experienced amateurs, contribute their complicated and polished projects. At the same time, enthusiastic teenagers contribute their own interests and ideas, and learn that/how they can participate in these discussions as peers, not as "students" or "kids."

That can be a powerful, and empowering, experience for young people, and for the old people here as well.
Feature Comment[flag][delete]


Well that might explain a few inexplicable things I've noticed.

Well remember there are the :Known, known's, the unknown known's , known un-known's and .......... Well you see where i'm going with this (or I should say, trying).

Yes, this happens to me fairly regularly. It feels more like an, ahem, undocumented feature than a bug, but that's just me. Guess if you end up on the FBI's most wanted or the No-Fly list you have to have real human beings grope frisk you or see your kibbles 'n bits as you walk through the scanner...

. I'm pretty sure that anyone who would think that randomly disappearing comments are a feature (or use "ahem" outside of a direct quote) is irregular on a regular basis.

Not that randomly disappearing comments are a feature...more like a type of partly-disguised filter that *looks* like a bug if it's ever discovered.

And do you really want to start a grammar fight, Mr. Spells-"Cool"-as-"Kewl"? :P

tray cesspewl...but putting hot sauce on makes it all better.

and don't be draggin his grannie into this. I think she carries a shotfun.

.  When I do it, it's called "poetic license." When you do it, it's called "poor grammar."  :P  pfffffttttt

I don't think she is stuck up that bad. It'll pass.